Posts Tagged 'Delhi'

Book Review: Delirious Delhi

I always love a book about Delhi – and the market is abuzz with them. I picked up Delirious Delhi solely because the author was co-blogger at a wonderful blog called Our Delhi Struggle. ‘Our Delhi Struggle’ was unique in the sense that it was collection of short, witty, first-hand experience of a couple who had moved from New York to Delhi. Their keenness to have ‘an authentic Dilli experience’ would often lead them to treasure troves and interesting revelations. For example, Dave and Jenny also found an old-style Hindi movie poster painter and had their own Bollywood poster painted that also adorns the book cover of Delirious Delhi. (The painter had his share of limelight in press thanks to Dave and Jenny.)

ImageDelirious Delhi can be easily called a tribute to Delhi, since it is obvious Dave and Jenny genuinely loved the city. The couple lived for two years in Delhi, after which they moved to Singapore.

And they did manage to have that ‘authentic’ experience. Dave, an advertising agency executive in Gurgaon lived in Hauz Khas. He did what millions of Delhites do everyday – travel to work. For more than a decade in Delhi, I too have travelled on an average 3-4 hours to and fro college or work. They zipped around the city in autos, learned various tricks/tips to bargain. Again, this is something I had to do every day (tough job at times) for 2 years when I worked in GK-2 – right in that square that has Nathu’s where Dave had his first meal in India.

The couple  went all round Delhi for the Indian food they would come to love – imagine my surprise when I read in the book ‘best South Indian food in Delhi can be eaten at Saravanna Bhawan’. I thought, how did he know! Since I keep finding people in north who are not so aware about it. Mystery soon unravelled – Dave and Jenny were part of Eating Out in Delhi group – and sample food from all over Delhi, including gastronomic delights of Old Delhi. I smiled when Dave was unimpressed with over-hyped Khan Market – I agreed.

Continue reading ‘Book Review: Delirious Delhi’

Book Review: Delhi: 14 Historic Walks

They say, you learn more about a city by walking around.  You walk around Florence, Paris, Munich, Edinburgh and even New York! Delhi, a city I call home and one that is 100 years old this year, is another such city that can be appreciated on walks. ‘Delhi – 14 historic walks’ is a delightful guide book that helps you to accomplish that.

ImageFrankly, this book does not need a book review to extol its virtues. Its back cover lists its merits in simple no-nonsense words in the back cover. However, to do the book and Blogadda’s book program justice, I will first air my views for the record.

I jumped to have this book since I have been on Delhi walks (and none by INTACH to which Swapna Liddle belongs to but that I will come to later). Delhi has a fantastic cultural heritage, but most of us even while living in the city sleep-walk through it. I did.

I think I re-visited even the popular monuments Red Fort, Qutab Minar when I was studying at a college in Delhi, at least a decade after when I first visited those in childhood. That too because I had to take an NRI friend of mine around the city. I haven’t forgotten my ignorance and the embarrassing fact that I was enormously proud that I have never cared enough for these ‘cliche’ places to visit myself. And even if we deign to visit these places, we hardly see/know things. We fail to appreciate the beauty and wonder of it.

Continue reading ‘Book Review: Delhi: 14 Historic Walks’

Swine Flu Diary

I sneezed.

Immediately I checked if my nails were blue and that if I could breathe properly. Now I definitely wasn’t getting fresh air. I was standing in queue at a closeted billing counter of a departmental store. It was definitely hard to breathe fresh air there.

Other than me, everyone wore masks both inside and outside the mall.  Why not, I am in swine flu capital, Pune. I have to check my symptoms at every sneeze or cough, to be sure.

I do carry a scarf these days to cover my mouth like a bandida, but it’s a suffocating feeling.

Interestingly, Pune girls, even before we had heard of swine flu, have been tying headscarves (instead of helmets) while driving as protection against pollution. Their headscarves are unique in that cover their entire face and head except eyes.

Pune Girls Wearing Headscarves

Pune Girls Wearing Headscarves - Pic courtesy Eric Parker's Photo stream

A new Police Commissioner tried to ban headscarves in vain, amidst the hue and cry of Pune girls. So, owing to use of these headscarves I think, Pune girls at least are safe from air-borne swine flu contamination. :)

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Delhi to Pune

Life can change in a moment.

Suddenly I decided to pack my bags and move to a different city. Not that sudden though, since I did have about 20 days to prepare. There was not a day when I did not lament about having to leave my city, Delhi. Delhi is home, and leaving home is never so simple.

I entered Pune while it was raining hard. Rains had delayed my flight was by half and hour, it took even longer at the conveyor belt. Flights are sometimes painful experience for me, since I have a peculiar trouble in flight. So delay was certainly unhappy, coupled it was though by yucky in-flight movie: Chandni Chowk to China! More about that later.

Continue reading ‘Delhi to Pune’

Fire-ed Up Politicians

We all know how our politicians are corrupt and how massacres are staged by them for their gain. Recently I came across one such story.

3 slum-dwelling areas in Delhi were hit by fire. Fire brigade did not arrive for atleast an hour!

It was fishy considering that the Fire Brigade had arrived last evening in the slum at the behest of some fire rumors. Our ever-efficient TV news channels too were quick to publicise the rumors as ‘breaking news’.

dharavi_slum_fire

Dharavi slum fire picture courtsey this Mumbai blogger

When a single Fire Brigade van finally arrived after an hour, half the slums could have been salvaged. But angry slum-dwellers were busy beating the fire-fighting van driver and firefighters because they were late! Frightened, all the other fire brigade vans stood outside the slum.

The slum dwellers were understandably agigated and angry. However, some of them were NOT surprised. They knew it had to happen sometime before elections. It has happened before in 2004. Timing is just too predictable. They ahd been almost waiting for it.

These people predicted the sequence of the events from this point, which is exactly how the events unfolded.

Politicians from loacal area arrive > Fire Brigadev vans run behind him (by this time whole slum is burnt to ashes) > Then comes a bread van (to distribute bread obviously) > The milk van arrives > Next blanket van expected to arrive.

These slum dwellings are predominantly occupied by minorities, so no guesses on which ‘secular party’ that will be dedicatedly involved in the ‘relief work’.  By the time election will arrive here, which is on 7th May, they will have ‘earned’ their votes by hard work.

Bread, milk and blanket. What more could you need? It doesn’t matter if you have no place to go and hide in heat after having all your belongings and house burnt down? Relocate, rebuild on the promises of pukka home in future.  Till then elections will ahve happened, and your ‘secular’ representative elected. :(

Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi

The Stand Up to Moral Policing protest in Delhi was worth a visit. :) Well, I was not a visiter, I travelled half the Delhi (not to mention sacrificing my morning sleep on weekend :P) to be there to protest against moral policing. And I was not alone. There were others who too had traversed the whole length of the city on the Valentine day’s eve for the same cause. :D

Continue reading ‘Anti-Moral Policing Protest in Delhi’

Robbed on A Busy Street

jobless_robbedIt was this bit of local news that prompted me to write this post.  Do not dismiss this news story as just another crime. Crime sometimes walks right into you, your home. As it happened to me. In our Capital City, Delhi. Yes, here you go with my story. How I was robbed recently.

Continue reading ‘Robbed on A Busy Street’


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What I SOMETIMES Tweet

  • @sahilk I won't. I can easily find out myself if I ever need to. :) @teatattler 1 day ago
  • @teatattler @sahilk Maybe question is ok among close friends. But rest of women should stop really. 1 day ago
  • @sahilk ya. Women have proclivity to do this all the time. These days even at water cooler at work women ask me where I got a dress. 1 day ago
  • @sahilk I might admire what they wear. But I'll never go down to how much was it for and where did you buy it. 1 day ago
  • @sahilk To me, its impolite & cheap. Perhaps because I pay no attention to what people wear. It's the people who matter. 1 day ago

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